|High Sierra Camps
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This is the north ridge of the western sub-peak of vogelsang peak. From the base of the ridge ascend the left side of the lower buttress when looking up from the small lake at the very toe of the ridge. Expect 4-6 pitches of 5.8ish climbing up right to left trending cracks. Follow ridge (3rd w/ some 4th) to a notch before the upper buttress. Ascend up the prow of buttress to obvious right facing dihedral. Pull roof, climb dihedral and one or two more pitches to the top.
Descend Vogelsang peak. To the s.e. of Vogelsangs summit is a gully follow this to Vogelsang lake and the trail back to the high sierra camp.
a dble set to #3C4 and one #4C4, stoppers.
very little sign of passage
Feb 17, 2011
Yes! Yes! Yes! This is my favorite obscure Yosemite High Sierra Climb of all time!
FA - Gary Colliver and Alen Bartlett 1981.
When hiking the more direct trail from Vogelsang to Merced Lake, this is the feature most hikers would refer to as "the sharks fin." Very prominent feature leading to the lower west summit of Vogelsang Peak.
To climb the Nightingale Arete, follow the stream out of Vogelsang HSC until it looks like you are at the level where you can contour around Vogelsang Peak. Pass through meadows, forests, and a bitchin boulderfield. When you see the arete, aim for it.(total hike 1mi.from Vogelsang) The climb starts on the left side of this arete (easy 5th class cracks). You will need to pull a couple of moderate moves to gain the class 2 ridge that leads to the 5.9 corner. Jam this short yet vertical corner with striking exposure to gain the upper arete/ridge. Follow this (class 2) as it wraps around to the upper summit.
Put together a standard rack to 3", then thin it out a little, and add some slings.
My thought is grade IV if you are doing it car to car.(16-18mi of hiking?) Grade III if you are doing it Vogelsang to Vogelsang.
Josh, remember the second time we did this? Jason came along to photograph the 5.9 corner, however, his camera was stolen out of his Curry WOB with the film still in it. Major bummer!
Feb 17, 2011
I just realized that there are many differences in description between Josh's and myself. If you should come across any of these, I would go with Josh's as his memory of such things is much better than mine. I may be a little bit of a sandbagger where Josh would never do that to anyone.
And on our second ascent of the Nightingale Arete, I was on lead and got us pretty off route. So that is proof of my poor memory.
This route is documented in Secor's book The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails. 2nd ed. page 397.